§ Mr. JOWETT
asked the Minister of Munitions if he is aware that cases are repeatedly occurring of landlords giving notice to munition workers to give up pos- 601W session of the houses they live in for occupation by the owners in districts where no other houses are available; and if it may be understood that he will afford protection against ejectment in such cases until accommodation has been found by or for the munition workers concerned?
§ Mr. KELLAWAY
Cases such as those referred to have been brought to the notice of the Minister, and, where the facts show aprimâa facie case for action, local investigation is made. In districts where such investigations show that it is necessary to do so, the Minister proposes to exercise his powers under the Defence of the Realm Regulations 2 A to protect munition workers against unjust ejectments.
asked the Minister of Munitions whether his attention has been directed to the housing conditions in Woolwich, Southall, and Enfield, and the surrounding districts, owing to the proximity of munition works and the consequent increased demand for small houses and tenements in these areas; whether, although landlords are prohibited from increasing the rents of such houses since the passing of the Increase of Rent and Mortgage Interest (War Restrictions) Act, 1915, they are in many cases endeavouring to procure possession of houses on the plea that they require them for their own occupation; and, if so, whether he will declare these areas munition areas under the Order in Council of 29th September, 1917, and thus prevent munition workers from being disturbed and turned out of their houses without his authority?
§ Mr. KELLAWAY
The attention of the Minister has been directed to the housing conditions in the districts referred to, and investigation is being made by the Department with regard to Woolwich in order to determine whether the Minister should exercise his powers under Regulation 2 A of the Defence of the Realm Regulations for the protection of munition workers against unjust ejectments.
asked the Minister of Munitions whether his attention has been directed to the case of Mr. J. F. Earney, a foreman at the Woolwich works of Messrs. Siemens Brothers; whether he is aware that this man, in accordance with the provisions of the Increase of Rent and Mortgage Interest (War Restrictions) Act, 1915, had refused to pay an increased rent demanded by his landlord; and the landlord had threatened to turn him out 602W of his house, and had been given an order for possession of the house on the plea that he required it for the occupation of his son-in-law; that another munition worker was also lodging in the house, and that both men were compelled to leave, although there was no other house to be let in the district; and whether, in view of the fact that because of this removal Mr. Earney had been compelled to lose seven days' work upon an important Government contract in connection with aeroplanes and that other similar cases existed, he proposes to take any steps in regard to the matter?
§ Mr. KELLAWAY
The Minister has had his attention directed to the case of Mr. J. F. Earney, who has been seen by an officer of the Department. The facts as to the ejectment of Mr. Earney appear to be as stated in the question, but the Minister was not aware that Mr. Earney had been compelled to lose seven days' work in consequence of his removal from his house. An investigation is being made by the Department as to the number of similar ejectment cases of munition workers from their houses in the Woolwich area with a view to determining whether the Minister should exercise his powers under Regulation 2 A of the Defence of the Realm Regulations.